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I've recently inherited the tasks of maintaining my Girlfriend's 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.7L 4wd GLS that is now out of warranty now with 110,000 miles on it. I'm brand new on this forum, but I'm an avid Volkswagen owner. Taking pride that none of my vehicles have had to go to a shop for repairs (just my own sweaty labor), I now enter the world of Hyundai! with a fizzle...

Please feel free to post any questions as I will help describe further any of these steps in more detail, but the following is not much of a simplification. This job is VERY easy.

Here's the disclaimer: Don't blame me if you suck at working on cars, this DIY may not be perfect, but it's pretty decent. Do your research and be logical. Just because I don't specifically mention to make sure you shouldn't bridge your battery terminals with your socket wrench, does not mean you can do this and blame me when you learn what 700 cold cranking amps feels like going through your body. If you want the real DIY, go buy a Santa Fe shop manual and sue them when you mess it up. Alright, boys and girls, enough with these shenanigans, on with the show!


Symptoms: Battery dash light came on along with a solid parking brake light. The in-dash factory radio started randomly changing from FM mode to CD mode. As things got down to the worst, my girlfriend (who is very good at describing how her car is reacting) said that dash lights continued to go more dim. ABS light came on, clock went dim ETC. Ultimately low voltage causes the fuel pump to stop functioning. Vehicle shuddered to a stop in the nearest parking lot she made it to.

Hypothesis:
Simple. Alternator. (search this site and you'll find many with the exact same symtoms) But read below and I'll show you the real way to prove this.

Tests:
First Jumpstart the car (or boost it for you goofy UK boys) :grin: then remove the cables. With a multimeter, test the voltage across the battery terminals. If the alternator is an original piece of equipement then it will be a 95amp alternator with a 62mm pulley providing between 13.5v and 14.5v across those terminals. (more than likely closer to 13.5v) If voltage is outside of that range, you are guaranteed that the alternator is not generating enough power while driving. My measurements were far outside of the accepted range, letting me know that it was in fact a failing alternator.

Purchase:
Now, to purchase the alternator (or sometimes called Generator). According to TSB 03-36-020<sup>(3)</sup> a new 'generator' is available for the 2.7L engine with a 4mm smaller pulley (now 58mm instead of 62mm) to increase output, especially at idle speeds. New current output is raised from 95Amps to 105Amps. The only place I could find said generator was at the dealership for a cool $395. All of the parts store generators were a direct replacement of the 62mm pulley 95A version. For $170 I grabbed a lifetime warrantied Valeo rebuilt generator. I chose this path for 2 reasons: Cash, and lifetime warranty.<sup>(4)</sup> If i need to replace it again in 2 yrs, so be it, it's free. If money were no issue, I'd get the upgraded product from Hyundai, but come on, if the first one lasted 9 years and worked great until 3 days ago, I'd be fine if the second one lasted even half that time, it's a 9 year old vehicle with 110k miles on it.

Replacement:

Tools needed: 12mm socket, 14mm socket, 10mm socket, lug wrench, 3/8" drive socket wrench, Serpentine belt tool, car jack, 1 jackstand.

1. Before jacking car, use serpentine belt tool to remove the accessory drive belt. (its easier to get into an SUV engine while it's down on the ground) Then remove the positive battery cable for safety.

2. Break the lugs nuts free, then jack up the passengers side of the car with a floor jack or the emergency jack. Place a jackstand under car on main frame component or under lower control arm to keep the front right tire in the air. DO NOT, EVER, EVER work on a car with only a jack holding it up, even if you are not underneath. ALWAYS use jackstands.

***Remember: Even the best hydraulic jacks have seals. These seals may fail. You don't want to hear hissing and see hydraulic fluid seeping from your jack when your chest under the transmission doing something as simple as an oil change. Not cool.

3. Remove the front right wheel

4. Use the 10mm socket to remove the 4 screws holding the small plastic engine side shield to the body of the car. This exposes the crank pulley, and gives more open access to the alternator for removal.

sidenote, from here on out, all work will be done through the wheel well, it's easier and faster.

5. Use the 14mm socket and 3/8" drive socket wrench to remove the bottom nut off of the alternator. (you may need to increase wrench length and use 1/2" drive to get the proper leverage for removal)

6. Use the 12mm socket and wrench to remove the top screw going into the alternator housing. This screw goes through a triangular shaped bracket that is held to the engine block with 2 other 12mm screws. Just loosen the left hand screw of that bracket, then remove the right and screw from the engine and swing the bracket out of the way.

7. The bottom bolt needs not be removed, just pull the alternator towards the firewall (back of car) and it will slide right out. Make sure to keep that bracket swung out of the way. Unclip the harness and use a 12mm socket and wrench to remove the ground connection.

8. Finish removal of alternator by pulling it out towards the front of the vehicle right over the drive axle. It took about 2 min for me to get it moved around so that it would slip out between suspension components.

9. Just like any great shop manual: Installation is the reverse of removal procedure! HAHA. I'm lazy. I will say that when you get the alternator back in place, make sure you get the 2 screws back into the bracket finger tight, and the bottom nut is back on the bolt. Make sure the square head of the bolt is is seated properly and pushed up against the alternator housing. THEN tighten down that lower nut, and then all 3 screws on the bracket. (one into the alternator housing, ant the other two into the engine block)

10. If you don't have a stand alone battery charger, you may have to jumpstart the car to get it running again. I chose to put the battery on charge as soon I began working so that when I finished the job, the battery had enough life to fire the car up. (As an alternator fails, the car's electrical system begins to rely on the battery alone to run all of the electrical systems on the vehicle, which won't last long, ultimately draining it entirely.)

11. Drive the car a little bit, let the generator do it's job and charge the battery.

12. Using the multimeter test the voltage across the battery while the car is running. Again, this should now read between 13.5v and 14.5v with the new alternator in place.

13. Now test the voltage across the battery while the car is off. If the battery is fully charged, you should see 12v across the terminals. If not, leave the charger connected to the battery until you're at 12v or at least very close.

14. Finally, this is a perfect time to drive the car to a parts store to have the battery tested just to make sure you're 100% squared away with the new alternator and a fully functioning battery.


Now: Have a beer FTW!!! You're done :trophy:


Notes about processes:

1. If you notice when you remove your old alternator, the top is covered in a thin layer of engine oil, most likely your rear valve cover gasket is leaking and dripping onto the housing. This could cause premature failure of the alternator. This should be attended to unless you want to use my steps every year to replace your alternator because it's constantly covered in engine oil.

2. This was the first time for me removing an alternator located in this position on an engine. It went far better than expected, from Jack-up to beer in hand was about 1.25 hours. I maybe could shave this time to 45min on a second go-around, but there is plenty of room to work when accessed through the wheel well. Hopefully there won't be a second go-around.

3. I referenced a TSB when discussing the purchase of the new generator. All TSB's and other great bits of info coming directly from Hyundai may be found www.HMAservice.com which is a necessary website to reference before doing any of your own auto repairs. If they make the Hyundai Techs do this quick research, you should act professional and do it too. (you must create a username and register with the site, but it's all free)

4. If you ever have a question about a part, just call your dealer parts counter and have your VIN handy, they are usually pretty great at fielding questions even if you explain that you don't plan on purchasing through the stealership. I do not endorse buying aftermarket parts, do this at your own risk as they are not Hyundai certified. But often times, I find that they are just as good, and carry their own lifetime warranties. (rebuilt in the USA is also a great thing to see on the side of a box)

Any questons? Shoot me a message or reply to this thread.

PEACE. :57:

Lucky21
 

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the 06's here in canada come with 120 amp alternator from factory and mine went at 4 years/80,000kms voltage regulator and bearing seized.. and having said that is frigged up my hyundai battery leading up to that day and was only giving 75% power.. I thought it would solve my problem when they put the new alternator and I put the new battery in cleaned the posts and put dialectric grease and hoping that would be it. the problem in the winter time I have noticed when hitting the brakes real hard but not locked up my dash lights dimmed and fan speed(for heater/ac) was reduced for a few seconds and tac drops to zero and bounces back to 1000 rpm(normal) and one occasion it stalled on me. figured with the alternator soon going and battery only putting out 75% power that was the problem so I thought with brand new oem alternator replaced with another oem 120 amp alternator and with the biggest battery from the brand that I know of I can get (875 Cranking Amps/1075 Cranking Amps) battery thta would fit in my santa fe it would solve that issue and still doing this problem and it will only do it during the winter time. where do I turn to next? do you or anybody have any suggestions? thanks :)
 

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QUOTE (Hyundai_81 @ Aug 19 2010, 10:44 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=350443
the 06's here in canada come with 120 amp alternator from factory and mine went at 4 years/80,000kms voltage regulator and bearing seized.. and having said that is frigged up my hyundai battery leading up to that day and was only giving 75% power.. I thought it would solve my problem when they put the new alternator and I put the new battery in cleaned the posts and put dialectric grease and hoping that would be it. the problem in the winter time I have noticed when hitting the brakes real hard but not locked up my dash lights dimmed and fan speed(for heater/ac) was reduced for a few seconds and tac drops to zero and bounces back to 1000 rpm(normal) and one occasion it stalled on me. figured with the alternator soon going and battery only putting out 75% power that was the problem so I thought with brand new oem alternator replaced with another oem 120 amp alternator and with the biggest battery from the brand that I know of I can get (875 Cranking Amps/1075 Cranking Amps) battery thta would fit in my santa fe it would solve that issue and still doing this problem and it will only do it during the winter time. where do I turn to next? do you or anybody have any suggestions? thanks :)

My suggestions:
1. Check voltage across battery while running and while sitting. Running voltage should be greater than 13.5v. Resting voltage with the key out and all lights and accessories turned off should be 12v. If your running voltage is low, then you've got alternator issues, (just because it's new doesn't mean it's not faulty) If your engine off/key out of ignition voltage is low, then your battery still may be suspect.

2. check amperage across the batt with the engine running. Your amperage should be 120amps when the engine is at around 2000-2500rpm. It will be far less at idle RPM so don't worry about that.

3. This may sound simple, but I do believe this problem escapes many people. And i think this could be your issue here. Check your belt quality, and tension. If you've got an older, or partially stretched belt, that cold weather may be hardening up that rubber enough to cause it to slip as your engine rpm's decrease during braking. If you are experiencing any slippage on that alternator pulley, you could have issues.

Besides the issues while braking, are there any other electrical symptoms that are happening with your car?
 

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thanks for the reply lucky21 uhmm just forgot to mention about the headlights dimm alittle aswell when braking.. but other then that thats all that I noticed.. no check engine light has come on. I did replace the belt about a year ago and a tensioner pully and the battery about 6 months prior to the alternator failing and later the alternator was replaced now being a good battery and alternator starting to go.. would that hurt the battery at all by chance? I have still the original battery cables and termails that came with the truck since day one..? would that cause some issues?? I was told by my mechanic that all the pullys are fine and turn good and belt aswell is still good.
 

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Excellent post Lucky!! Welcome to the World of Hyundai...LOL

The only thing I will add is to your step #7.

Sometimes the bottom bolt is a total turd to wiggle out of the angled bracket slot.
By using a small mirror, you can see the angle you need to wiggle it out. Its about a 9:45 clock angle. That helps.
Sometimes it comes out OK, sometimes you'll need much patience, strength and more than 1 beer when you finish.

Cheers!

Dean
 

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QUOTE (dno36 @ Aug 22 2010, 09:04 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=351032
Excellent post Lucky!! Welcome to the World of Hyundai...LOL

The only thing I will add is to your step #7.

Sometimes the bottom bolt is a total turd to wiggle out of the angled bracket slot.
By using a small mirror, you can see the angle you need to wiggle it out. Its about a 9:45 clock angle. That helps.
Sometimes it comes out OK, sometimes you'll need much patience, strength and more than 1 beer when you finish.

Cheers!

Dean



Was your lower bolt tough to deal with even after you took the screws out of the upper bracket and got it loosened? Once I got the top end all freed up, I removed that nut on that bottom bolt and had freedom of movement with the whole housing to pull the bottom end out. Maybe I was just Lucky. :thumbsup:

P.S. I used an air ratchet the whole time to speed up this removal process, maybe that helped, but I didn't include that in my writeup b/c most DIY'ers don't have access to air tools.
 

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QUOTE (lucky21 @ Aug 23 2010, 09:26 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=351297
Was your lower bolt tough to deal with even after you took the screws out of the upper bracket and got it loosened? Once I got the top end all freed up, I removed that nut on that bottom bolt and had freedom of movement with the whole housing to pull the bottom end out. Maybe I was just Lucky. :thumbsup:

P.S. I used an air ratchet the whole time to speed up this removal process, maybe that helped, but I didn't include that in my writeup b/c most DIY'ers don't have access to air tools.
The top bolt was out and I could pivot the Alt freely, and the bottom bolt was floppy loose.

When I re-installed I sanded the new Alt slightly to assist insertion.

The 1st one I did was no real problem, #2 was a pisser....

Dean
 

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I just registered for this forum so I could get some answers on changing the alternator on my '03 SanteFe...that slotted bracket for the lower pivot bolt is genius!!

when i pushed the pivot bolt thru and saw that it was not coming out, i was baffled..and i do a lot of work on a lot of different cars. Been at it for 30 years..but that is the first time i have run across this type of bracket..

thank you to whoever made that post with the step by step instructions...

Now my wife will have her car for in the AM

Joe
 

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Hot Rod

like you my friend I'm GM Man can you tell me what make them lights jump and do all the do my lady is about to run me crazy. help me please.
 

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I am an owner of a 2001 Santa Fe 2.7 V6 AWD. The alternator was replaced shortly before I bought it 6 years ago, and now i’m on the 6th alternator in that time. The first one seized up within in 6 months of owning the car. It started running very loud. The next ones got loud too, as with the current one. The alternator bearings keep failing on it. Has anyone else experienced this problem of your Santa Fe eating alternators ?
 

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where are you buying your replacement alternator? A lot of these (AZ etc) auto stores have junk aftermarket alternators. Although they come with a lifetime guarantee, you will spend a lifetime replacing them. I'd much rather pull an old oem one out of a junk yard than go aftermarket.
 
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